Denver Post

Proponents for six ballot initiatives submitted petitions to the Colorado secretary of state Monday — the final day petitioners could submit them — though four of the measures could be retracted following announcements by Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

Hickenlooper and Polis on Monday morning dropped their support of two initiatives meant to restrict oil and gas operations and asked that two initiatives supporting the industry be rescinded as well. The Democrats proposed that instead, a panel of experts develop ideas for the state legislature in hopes of creating future legislation.

The signatures for all six initiatives were submitted by organizers who hope to have their proposals added as ballot measures for the November election.

A ballot initiative that would have given communities sweeping powers over oil drilling and other industrial activity was pulled Monday for a lack of supporting signatures, sponsors said.

Initiative 75 would have added the so-called Community Rights Amendment to the state constitution, but to get it on the ballot required 86,105 valid signatures — a rule of thumb is that 125,000 signatures need to be gathered to meet the requirement.

“With just nine weeks to get 125,000 signatures and lacking hundreds of thousands in funding, we knew we faced an uphill battle for 2014,” the sponsors said in a statement. “We took a tally this week and now know that we’re going to be well short of where we need to be.”

Signature gatherers for a series of oil-and-gas ballot initiatives failed to receive state licensing before they began circulating petitions Wednesday.

Although gatherers hit the streets Wednesday morning, their required license from the Colorado Secretary of State was not issued until Thursday morning.

As a result, organizers said they discarded the handful of signatures gathered Wednesday and started fresh Thursday with a valid license in hand.

Read more: here

A lawsuit challenging the petition-gathering process that got a $950 million school-tax proposal on the November ballot was filed late Wednesday, according to a group opposing the measure.

The group, Coloradans for Real Education Reform, said Bob Hagedorn, a former Democratic state senator from Aurora, and Norma Anderson, a former Republican lawmaker from Lakewood, filed the suit in Denver District Court claiming that 39,555 of the signatures gathered for the ballot measure are invalid.

Read more:here


Tue, Sep 10 2013 — Source: Denver Post

A final, frantic effort is underway to get voters to the polls Tuesday in two state Senate districts where Democratic lawmakers face ouster for stricter gun laws passed in the 2013 legislative session.

State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo are in the fight of their political lives in an election that has attracted national attention and money.

The polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Read more of this story: here


Recall is a procedural democratic device that allows voters to discharge and replace an elected official. At least 19 states provide for recall at the state level, and most states permit recall of local officials.

Coloradans, by citizen initiative, amended their constitution in 1912 to permit it here (approved handily by a vote of 53,620 to 39,564), and scores of recall elections at the local level have been held in Colorado in the past 100 years.

Senate President John Morse remains adamant he will charge forward into what could be the first recall election of a state lawmaker in Colorado history, though organizers in support of the Colorado Springs lawmaker are weighing all their options ”” including the possibility of Morse stepping down ”” before any election date is set.

“Decisions are happening nonstop in a recall,” said Kjersten Forseth, a consultant to A Whole Lot of People for John Morse, who notes that resignation is an option, though it’s not a focus at this point. “As a team, we’re always re-evaluating where we are on a daily basis. It’s not something you can map out like in a normal campaign.”

A city councilman wants to make it easier for a NASCAR racetrack to be built in Aurora once the economy turns around.

Councilman Bob FitzGerald wants voters to repeal a 1999 ballot initiative that stops the city from offering incentives to racetrack developers.

He had planned to introduce the measure at a City Council committee this week for discussion, but the proposal was kicked back to the Aurora Economic Development Council for review.

Read more at the Denver Post.


Opponents of a ballot measure to hike taxes for education funding allege in a complaint filed with the secretary of state’s office that a person gathering signatures for the initiative broke the law with “false and misleading statements” about the measure.

Details are being finalized on a proposed Denver ballot initiative that would require private businesses to provide paid sick time to their employees. Campaign for a Healthy Denver, a coalition of groups such as 9to5 National Association of Working Women and the Colorado Progressive Coalition, seeks to have Denver employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Proponents met with Denver City Council staff and the city attorney’s office May 20, and the campaign is working on the final wording for the November ballot and sample language for the petitions.

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Months after lawmakers from both parties joined hands in support of a bill that would ask voters to make it harder to amend the Colorado Constitution, the proposal is on life support heading into the last day of the session. Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 has been sitting in the Senate since March 11, when the House passed it with amendments. The Senate still must either concur with the House amendments or seek a conference today. But Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, said the measure, which has passed both chambers once already, faces difficult prospects.

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Saying that just cutting spending wasn’t the answer to Colorado’s budget problems, a Democratic state senator on Monday filed a citizen initiative that would ask voters in November to enact a three-year, $1.63 billion tax increase. “I am in hopes that the citizens of this state will say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, said in a news conference at the Capitol announcing his initiative.

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A liberal group that pushed a tax-increase initiative thrown out on a technicality is back with new proposals that would ask Colorado voters to increase taxes by up to $1.5 billion a year. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy last year proposed an initiative that would have returned the state to a graduated income tax and extended sales taxes to include services. But the state’s Title Setting and Review Board in December rejected the measure on a technicality, saying proponents would have to start the process over.

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Sponsors of a bill signed into law Tuesday say the new restrictions on ballot initiative backers could prevent future tangles like those surrounding a series of anti-tax measures before voters this November. House Bill 1370 requires that issue committees, the term for groups backing initiatives, register with the state and begin disclosing financial information as soon as they print and distribute 200 petitions. Current rules require these groups to register only after they raise or spend $200, a threshold that can be harder to gauge, according to bill co-sponsor Sen.

Colorado shoppers are much less likely to find beer, wine and liquor on supermarket shelves after a House committee on Wednesday killed a bill to expand alcohol sales and the prospects dimmed for two similarly aimed ballot initiatives. It was the third time in as many years that a coalition of convenience stores, supermarkets and consumer advocates has been thwarted in the legislature.

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